Breastfeeding is of essential and vital importance for the developing newborn, because through mother's milk it receives the necessary nutrients and antibodies necessary for its normal development. It turns out that fungi and microorganisms also enter the baby's body through breast milk.
However, they are not harmful, on the contrary – they play an important role in building the microbiome in the baby's gut and other organs and systems. These bacteria and fungi are actually beneficial and the newborn receives some of them through breast milk.
However, not all mothers around the world have similar levels of these fungi and bacteria in their breast milk.
A recent study published on March 1 this year in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, cited by the electronic medical publication WebMD, found that these beneficial bacteria pass from the mother to the baby's body, but their levels are different in different parts of the the world. The state of microbiome of mothers depends on their lifestyle, nutrition, social status, hygiene habits.
Researchers have found yeast and other fungal microorganisms in the breast milk of mothers from Spain, Finland, China, South Africa, indicating that the presence of these beneficial bacteria is present despite these differences.
The head of the team of researchers Dr. Maria Carmen Collado shared on WebMD that the results of the study show the presence of these fungi in the breast milk of he althy mothers, supporting the hypothesis that breast milk is the most important source of substances and microorganisms for the baby in the first stages of its development and the formation of immunity and the functionality of organs and systems in direct dependence on the microbiome.
The most common fungi and yeasts in breast milk are Malassezia and Davidiella, which were found in the breast milk of all the mothers included in the study. The other fungi are Sistotrema and Penicillium, which were also present in most of the mothers.
What differs is the amount of bacteria in different mothers. The highest percentages are among mothers from Spain and South Africa – more than 70%, compared to 45% for mothers from China and 35% for mothers from Finland.
Scientists add that these beneficial bacteria and yeast are part of probiotics for babies, supporting the growth of beneficial microorganisms in their intestines.
That's why this finding is another solid reason why breastfeeding is more than a mission for every mother. The development of the baby's life until adulthood depends on it.